e other, I mean.”
“He doesn’t make poetry, of course. He’s a cousin of Wotton–one of the Councillors. But he’s one of the Red Rose Royalists–a delightful club–and they keep up the tradition of these things.”
“Asano told me there was a King.”
“The King doesn’t belong. They had to expel him. It’s the Stuart blood, I suppose; but really–”
“Far too much.”
Graham did not quite follow all this, but it seemed part of the general inversion of the new age. He bowed condescendingly to his first introduction. It was evident that subtle distinctions of class prevailed even in this assembly, that only to a small proportion of the guests, to an inner group, did Lincoln cons cheap nike air max trainers ider it appropriate to introduce him. This first introduction was the Master Aeronaut, a man whose sun-tanned face contrasted oddly with the delicate complexions about him. Just at present his critical defection from the Council made him a very important person indeed.
His manner contrasted very favourably, according to Graham’s ideas, with the general bearing. He offered a few commonplace remarks, assurances of loyalty and frank inquiries about the Master’s health. His manner was breezy, his accent lacked the easy air max 90 staccato of latter-day English. He made it admirably clear to Graham that he was a bluff “aerial dog”–he used that phrase–that there was no nonsense about him, that he was a thoroughly manly fellow and old-fashioned at that, that he didn’t profess to know much, and that what he did not know was not worth knowing. He made a curt bow, ostentatiously free from obsequiousness, and passed.
“I am glad to see that type endures,” said Graham.
“Phonographs and kinematographs,” said Lincoln, a little spitefully. “He has studied from the life.” Graham glanced at the burly form again. It was oddly reminiscent.
“As a matter of fact we bought him,” said Lincoln. “Partly. And partly he was afraid of Ostrog. Everything rested with him.”
He turned sharply to introduce the Surveyor-General of the Public Schools. This person was a willowy figure in a blue-grey academic gown, he beamed down upon Graham through _pince-nez_ of a Victorian pattern, and illustrated his remarks by gestures of a beautifully manicured hand. Graham was immediately inter nike air max 90 sale ested in this gentleman’s functions, and asked him a number of singularly direct questions. The Surveyor-General seemed quietly amused at the Master’s fundamental bluntness. He was a little vague as to the monopoly of education his Company possessed; it was done by contract with the syndicate that ran the numerous London Municipalities, but he waxed enthusiastic over educational progress since the Victorian times nike air max classic . “We have conquered Cram,” he said, “completely conquered Cram–there is not an examination left in the world. Aren’t you glad?”
“How do you get the work done?” asked Graham.
“We make it attractive–as attractive as possible. And if it does not attract then–we let it go. We cover an immense field.”
He proceeded to details, and they had a lengthy conversation. Graham learnt that University Extension still existed in a modified form. “There is a certain type of girl, for example,” said the Surveyor-General, dilating with a sense of his usefulness, “with a perfect passion for severe studies–when they are not too difficult you know. We cater for them by the thousand. At this moment,” he said with a Napoleonic touch, “nearly five hundred phonographs are lecturing in different parts of London on the influence exercised by Pla nike air max 95 to and Swift on the love affairs of Shelley, Hazlitt, and Burns. And afterwards they write essays on the lectures, and the names in order of merit are put in conspicuous places. You see how your little germ has grown? The illiterate middle-class of your days has quite passed away.”
“About the public elementary schools,” said Graham. “Do you control them?”
The Surveyor-General did, “entirely.” Now, Graham, in his later democratic days, had taken a keen interest in these and his questioning quickened. Certain casual phrases that had fallen from the old man with whom he had talked in the darkness recurred to him. The Surveyor-General, in effect, endorsed the old man’s words. “We try and make the elementary schools very pleasant for the little children. They will have to work so soon. Just a few simple principles–obedience–i http://airmaxn90-90.co.uk/ ndustry.”
“You teach them very little?”
“Why should we? It only leads to trouble and discontent. We amuse them. Even as it is–there are troubles–agitations. Where the labourers get the ideas, one cannot tell. They tell one another. There are socialistic dreams–anarchy even! Agitators _will_ get to work among them. I take it–I have always taken it–that my foremost duty is to fight against popular discontent. Why should people be made unhappy?”
“I wonder,” said Graham thoughtfully. “But there are a great many things I want to know.”
Lincoln, who had stood watching Graham’s face throughout the conversation, intervened. “There are others,” he said in an undertone.
The Surveyor-General of schools gesticulated himself away. “Perhaps,” said Lincoln, intercepting a casual glance, “you would like to know some of these ladies?” cheap nike air max
The daughter of the Manager of the Piggeries was a particularly charming little person with red hair and animated blue eyes. Lincoln left him awhile to converse with her, and she displayed herself as quite an enthusiast for the “dear old days,” as she called them, that had seen the beginning of his trance. As she talked she smiled, and her eyes smiled in a manner that demanded reciprocity.
“I have tried,” she said, “countless times–to imagine those old romantic days. And to you–they are memories. How strange and crowded the world must seem to you! I have seen photographs and pictures of the past, the little isolated houses built of bricks made out of burnt mud and all black with soot from your fires, the railway bridges, the simple advertisements, the solemn savage Puritanical men in strange black coats and those tall h nike air max sale ats of theirs, iron railway trains on iron bridges overhead, horses and cattle, and even dogs running half wild about the streets. And suddenly, you have come into this!”
“Into this,” said Graham.
“Out of your life–out of all that was familiar.”
“The old life was not a happy one,” said Graham. “I do not regret that.”
She looked at him quickly. There was a brief pause. She sighed encouragingly. “No?”
“No,” said Graham. “It was a little life–and unmeaning. But this–We thought the world complex and crowded and civilised enough. Yet I see–although in this world I am barely four days old–looking back on my own time, that it was a queer, barbaric time–the mere beginning of this new order. The mere beginning of this new order. You will find it hard to understand how little I know.”
“You may ask me what you like,” she said, cheap air max 90 smiling at him.
“Then tell me who these people are. I’m still very much in the dark about them. It’s puzzling. Are there any Generals?”
“Men in hats and feathers?”
“Of course not. No. I suppose they are the men who control the great public businesses. Who is that distinguished looking man?”
“That? He’s a most important officer. That is Morden. He is managing director of the Antibilious Pill Department. I have heard that his workers somet cheap nike air max imes turn out a myriad myriad pills a day in the twenty-four hours. Fancy a myriad myriad!”
“A myriad myriad. No wonder he looks proud,” said Graham. “Pills! What a wonderful time it is! That man in purple?”
“He is not quite one of the inner circle, you know. But we like him. He is really clever and very amusing. He is one of the heads of the Medical Faculty of our London University. All m nike air max edical men, you know, wear that purple. But, of course, people who are paid by fees for _d nike air max 1 oing_ something–” She smiled away the social pretensions of all such people.
“Are any of your great artists or authors here?”
“No authors. They are mostly such queer people–and so preoccupied about themselves. And they quarrel so dreadfully! They will fight, some of them, for precedence on staircases! Dreadful, isn’t it? But I think Wraysbury, the fashionable capillotomist, is here. From Capri.”
“Capillotomist,” said Graham. “Ah! I remember. An artist! Why not?”
“We have to cultivate him,” she said apologetically. “Our heads are in his hands.” She smiled.
Graham hesitated at the invited compliment, but his glance was expressive. “Have the arts grown with the rest of civilised things?” he said. “Who are your great painters?”
She looked at him doubtfully. Then laughed. “For a momen nike air max 90 t,” she said, “I thought you meant–” She laughed again. “You mean, of course, those good men you used to think so much of because they could cover great spaces of canvas wit airmax 90 h oil-colours? Great oblongs. And people used to put the things in gilt frames and hang them up in rows in their square rooms. We haven’t any. People grew tired of that sort of thing.”
“But what did you think I meant?”
She put a finger significantly on a cheek whose glow was above suspicion, and smiled and looked very arch and pretty and inviting. “And here,” and she indicated
nike air 180 prodaja
e other, I mean.”